Google Chrome Frame: Microsoft Says It's Bad for You, Google Disagrees
Article by George Norman
On 28 Sep 2009
One of the Google-related news that we couldn’t pass up on last week was about Google Chrome Frame, the open-source plug-in that gives Internet Explorer HTML5 compatibility and faster JavaScript. According to Google, the offering is meant for the developers that want to use the latest open web technologies in the Microsoft developed web browser, Internet Explorer. With Google Chrome Frame, anything that can be run in Chrome can be run in Internet Explorer.

“One challenge developers face in using these new technologies is that they are not yet supported by Internet Explorer. Developers can't afford to ignore IE — most people use some version of IE — so they end up spending lots of time implementing work-arounds or limiting the functionality of their apps. ith Google Chrome Frame, developers can now take advantage of the latest open web technologies, even in Internet Explorer. From a faster JavaScript engine, to support for current web technologies like HTML5's offline capabilities and <canvas>, to modern CSS/Layout handling, Google Chrome Frame enables these features within IE with no additional coding or testing for different browser versions,” explained Amit Joshi, Software Engineer, Alex Russell, Software Engineer and Mike Smith, Product Manager


Redmond-software giant Microsoft did not take kindly to this Google Chrome Frame business. As a matter of fact, it officially recommended that users stay away from the plug-in. Why? Because it has a negative impact on IE’s security, said Microsoft.

“With Internet Explorer 8, we made significant advancements and updates to make the browser safer for our customers. Given the security issues with plugins in general and Google Chrome in particular, Google Chrome Frame running as a plugin has doubled the attach area for malware and malicious scripts. This is not a risk we would recommend our friends and families take,” explained a Microsoft spokesperson.

Google has replied to Microsoft’s statement by saying that Google Chrome Frame, which is still in early development phase, is being developed with security in mind.

“Google Chrome Frame is an open source plug-in that is currently in an early developer release and was designed with security in mind from the beginning. While we encourage users to use a more modern and standards compliant browser such as Firefox, Safari, Opera or Google Chrome rather than a plug-in, for those who don't, Google Chrome Frame is designed to provide better performance, strong security features, and more choice to both developers and users, across all versions of Internet Explorer. Accessing sites using Google Chrome Frame brings Google Chrome's security features to Internet Explorer users, providing strong phishing and malware protection (absent in IE6), robust sandboxing technology, and defenses from emerging online threats that are available in days rather than months,” explained Google.

Keep in mind that chrome is the only browser that did not come undone at the PWN2OWN competition earlier this year.

If you would like to get Google Chrome Frame, a download location is available here.

Tags: Google, Google Chrome Frame, Microsoft, Internet Explorer, IE, Plug-in
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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